What makes an effective advertising message?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - advertising message

Advertising depends on a few core elements being correctly used to define its effectiveness. The proposition is that advertising should deliver a message that has impact, engagement, relevance and retention on a target group of individuals. The message is effective if it is noticed, viewed, understood and creates an action that benefits the organisation using it.

We can always look at creating an impactful message using emotions and visual stimulation but have we positioned it where the message creates some form of positive response? An example of good execution but the poor response would be to advertise a child’s toy using the action hero of the moment on TV at midnight. The use of relevant and relatable material is useless if the intended audience have been asleep for 5 hours.

Elements must fulfil a range of requirements. The evaluation of these and their relation to each other will ensure the best response to any advertising message.

Idea selection processes, techniques and procedures

How do we evaluate ideas? In many cases, and especially with creative elements, we find ideas being chosen based on the emotional effect on an individual or group. In order to correctly gauge the reaction, it is better to include as many individuals as possible to better translate the reactions and impact of the concept. Where companies are big enough and financially strong enough there should be a collaborative and structured process in place to define, analyse and implement new ideas.

Consider the below questions when listing and deciding on potential advertising ideas:

  • Identify the ideas which are most likely to succeed as innovations for the organisation.
  • Ensure that multifaceted ideas are reviewed by people with suitable expertise that is required to understand what would be needed to implement the idea – in addition to what might go wrong.
  • Capacitate a middle manager to present the idea to senior management, stakeholders as well as financial officers who may need to approve budgetary approval for the idea.
  • Make it possible to review a great number of ideas in a resource-efficient manner.
  • Improve the idea by highlighting potential implementation problems as well as preparing suitable actions to overcome those problems. Unfortunately, this last aspect is often lost in formal idea review procedures.

Three methods used in evaluating and evolving ideas

Pass-fail evaluation

Create a list of simple criteria to evaluate ideas. These can be based on budget, delivery time constraints, company fit, product types or practicality. This can be useful when sifting through large lists of ideas. An example would be a company-wide drive to generate marketing ideas. An effective means is needed to eliminate or accept ideas quickly and also to report back to the staff why ideas were not chosen.

Evaluation matrix

Having already listed potential ideas in the pass-fail evaluation it is necessary to analyse their potential. This can be done with the creation of a basic array that uses a pre-defined criterion and allocates a score to each, based on this the idea can be prioritised.

SWOT analysis

This uses the process of evaluating and idea based on the predefined SWOT principle used in many businesses today. S.W.O.T stands for:

  • S – Strengths
  • W – Weaknesses
  • O – Opportunities
  • T – Threats

This would be used in evaluating ideas in more detail and should be used as the next step with the pass-fail evaluation results and/or the evaluation matrix.

Understanding the complexity and relational activities of an idea

When an idea is first considered it is done so in isolation. We must then extrapolate the idea and create context around it. This involves looking in detail at the idea and linking characteristics, situations and resources to it.

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DSM Digital School of Marketing - Advertising